Skip to main content

History of the Olympic Rings

Want to learn even more about the Olympic rings? Visit

The Olympic Rings are a relatively modern addition to the Games. They first appeared in 1913 at the top of a letter written by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. In the letter he wrote, “These five rings represent the five parts of the world now won over to the cause of Olympism and ready to accept its fertile rivalries. Moreover, the six colors thus combined reproduce those of all the nations without exception.”

An often-cited mistake is that each ring color represents individual content. Rather, the five colors combined with the white background represent the colors of the flags of all nations at that time, without exception.

The rings are interlaced to show the meeting of the athletes of the world during each edition of the Olympic Games in a spirit of good friendship and fair and equal competition.

Timeline of the Olympic Rings

Timeline of the Olympic rings graphics from Kids Guide


Tags in this article

Olympics SportsEngine